Saturday, February 7, 2009

Review: Dark of Night

Title: Dark of Night
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Troubleshooters/Book 14
Published: January 2009

Danger ~ Danger ~ Spoilers Ahead

What's a Troubleshooter to do when the bad guys come knocking and want you dead? You play dead. That's the plan for Jimmy "Diego" Nash when the so called Agency that he's still been doing black ops for wants him gone. But only Tess, Jules and Decker know the truth, that Jimmy is still alive. And they're working to find out just who's behind the attacks against Jimmy. Then the not so ditsy receptionist Tracy figures out the big secret so now she's one of the select few. Now it's a race against time to find out who the real bad guys are and stay alive long enough to bring them to justice or, just kill 'em.

Why do I keep reading this series? Sometimes I'm not sure why. The basic plots are more or less the same. Bad guys go after good guys (Troubleshooter, SEALs). Good guys have some shootouts with bad guys ~ bang, bang, "F***, I'm shot", bandaged wound(s) followed by hot monkey sex. Good guys figure out who the big bad really is and go after him. Oh, and there usually involves some type of rescue of one or more of the good guys. They really need to stop getting captured ~ training people, remember your training! And yet I still keep reading about Troubleshooters, Inc. It must be that in the cast of thousands there always seem to be one or two that capture my attention and I just have to know what is going to happen to them.

In Dark of Night there were four characters that I just had to know how their stories ended. Tess and Jimmy, who have always been my favorite couple. My other favs are Stan/Teri and Jones/Molly. Sorry folks but I never got that into Sam and Alyssa. I liked them but wasn't over the top crazy about them. And now I have a new favorite couple, Decker and Tracy. As far as Tess and Jimmy go I pretty much figured they would resolved their problems and get their final HEA so I just liked "visiting" with them again. But Decker and Tracy had my full attention. Tracy was a character that many readers just didn't like. She was perceived as being beautiful but a ditz. And yes, she did have her moments of ditziness but she was also very perceptive and intuitive when it came to people. Unfortunately, that usually didn't apply to the men she dated. And Deck was such an enigma. Always staying back in the shadows, never wanting to draw attention to himself. I so wanted to know his story, get to know the real man behind that mask.

So there are the two main couples in Dark of Night. Dave/Sophia and Decker/Tracy. Dave and Sophia are already a couple when the book starts, having gotten together at the end of the last book Into the Fire. Decker and Tracy are forced by circumstances to be together 24/7 because of the threat to Jimmy Nash and the fact that Tracy finds out that Jimmy is still alive. Decker can't trust that she won't inadvertently let the info slip. So he decides to stick to her like glue until he can get her to the safe house. So what happens on the way to the safe house? See the above second paragraph; the part with "bang, bang" and "hot monkey sex". Eventually a bunch of Troubleshooters and a few SEALs join together to go after the bad guys and rescue Dave.

Dave and Sophia = boring. I just could not get into them or their story line. Separately they're okay but together... the spark, attraction, love whatever you want to call it seemed forced. I will admit to not really being interested in them before. Sophia, I had indirect interest in when it was thought that she would end up with Decker, who I find fascinating. But pair her with Dave and the snooze factor appeared. And just when I thought Dave couldn't cry anymore, yep, here he goes again. Although to be fair Brockmann had all the guys crying in this one. Except for maybe Lopez but he might have cried when he got hurt and it just wasn't mentioned. And the way Dave said he'd listen to the music Sophia liked and read her favorite books just seemed a bit pathetic.

Decker and Tracy = funny dialogue, fast paced story line and great character development. Anyone that has been reading this series probably wouldn't have put Deck and Tracy together. Tracy is fun-loving, outgoing and talkative. Decker is quiet, reserved and... grim. They seem to be polar opposites and in many ways they are but they work. They fit together so well. The way Decker described what Tracy did for him is that she let him be him. He didn't need to repress his thoughts or feelings with her. And how he had always thought she was smart and didn't talk down to her like other men did showed how perceptive Deck was and that his feelings for her didn't just happen overnight.

I did have a few minor complaints. The fact that the Troubleshooters feel like they can call for SEAL backup whenever they need it. This is one of those times when I just need to suspend reality. It's just not realistic. The SEALs are pretty busy with their own very important jobs. The other thing was some of the slang. Most of the people that work for Troubleshooters are in the late twenties or older and some of the phrases used just came out sounding off. I swear if Decker had said "I'm outtie" the book would have hit the wall. Thankfully that lovely phrase never appeared.

This one was a bit hard to grade. I would have enjoyed it more if it had been more of Decker/Tracy and less Dave/Sophia. But I do need to also consider that I read this one in 48 hours, so bonus points for that. Dark of Night kept my attention and I just had to find out what was going to happen next. So I would definitely recommend it for fans of the series. Lists of both Brockmann's Troubleshooter series and Tall, Dark and Dangerous series can be found on her website.

Rating: A-

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